Gay Men & Depression
Depression and anxiety are very common among gay men, and some of the most common reasons why some gay men feel depressed include the homophobia surrounding them of the feeling of guilt. I have many gay friends that used to feel guilty about being gay, because they believe they have not only disappointed and saddened their family, but also their friends. However, this isn’t a general rule. When it comes to depression, it is classified in chronic depression and severe depression. Fortunately, both of them can be treated.
Some gay men can be depressed and don’t even know it. While for some members of the LGBT community, depression is something temporary, something that comes and goes and usually lasts a few hours to a couple of days, others have learnt to grow up with it and live with it. Depression can begin since the teenage years, when the teenager gay boy gets ridiculed, he is being mocked on or even thrown out of the house by his own parents because of his sexual orientation.
As said above, both chronic and severe depression can be treated, but sometimes besides counseling and group therapy, medication is needed as well (antidepressants, from mild ones to strong ones such as Prozac and its “relatives” according to the intensity of the depression). However, these antidepressants often happen to cause side effects, which vary according to how strong the antidepressant is. The most known side effects are weight gain, insomnia, nausea or the loss of libido. However, while these side effects can really affect some people, others don’t even experience them.
For a depressed gay man that tries to get rid of his depression, support is stronger than any antidepressant. Going to the psychologist and taking a bunch of pills is worth nothing without the help and support of your friends and those who truly love you and are willing to stay next to you. A simple phone call or a text message can work like magic for a depressed gay man, because knowing that you’re not alone and that there’s always somebody behind your back who supports you always helps.
Besides the awful feelings depression brings, there are some “side effects” of depression that must be taken very seriously by every depressed gay man. We all must be aware of the thoughts and ideas that sometimes depression can cause, those little “flashes” that simply cross our minds, and we must know that suicide is NOT an option. Not in this world, and definitely not for the strong ones. It’s always good to talk about your thoughts with somebody whom you completely trust, because this way you will get to know how your friends think about your problem or what methods they suggest for solving a particular problem.
To sum up, I would like to advise all the depressed gay men not to quit. Depression affects half the planet so you’re not the only one who goes through this, we all have to fight it because otherwise it can take over our lives, and that isn’t good.
My name is Sam
My world at the moment means nothing as I have so much love to share and no one to share it with .
I feel so empty and sad as I put a brave face on every day to go to work .
I’m in a 30 year love less relationship
I love him as a friend but it’s come the time where I need to love again . I take ani depressants but that’s just bandage the wound is getting deeper and I’m scared that I will loose the fight.
Thank you and anyone who is looking for love I gave plenty.
I can understand Sam, as I am also going through the same situation and I feel depressed and I am in a loveless situation since I was a teenager. Now I am in mid thirties and I think how long I have to live like that?
And how are you now in 2016? Are you still single? My name is Peter, I currently am in buckeye near Phoenix with a flat tire, it has given me time to really see how things in my alleged relationship is going nowhere, what’s been happening with you? You OK?
are you there? I am in the same situation
Buena información, yo tengo depresión y no cuento con como tener alguno de los tratamientos.
Yes Its true gay people are more susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts, I come from India which is a very homophobic country and very unsafe for a gay person. I was beaten by the police in my hometown just for taking to a man outside the Temple where I used to go for a prayer. I have very painful past and bad memories and it amounts to a lot especially when there is nobody in my life to share or being loved.
I understand that everyone here has and likely are still experiencing a loveless relationship, just like me, I knew I was gay at seven, my parents and siblings basically ousted me because of it but the way I see it, its their loss not mine, yes as stated before, my name is peter, yes I too am in a loveless relationship, allegedly my partner and I are engaged, however when he says he loves me but fails to show it in public or in private, it tells me a lot. I have been putting the engagement off for more then two years trying to make him understand that this will not work if this behavior continues as of yet, he hasn’t even bothered to acknowledge my feelings, I am very frustrated, and its strange, you know, I mean I am gayer lol I think so then most people yet he of all people treats me as if he has no idea how to treat me, as if he’s gay but idk you know lol. I’m looking for love compassion and am now considering myself single, yes I get depressed day in and day out, I try to talk to him to explain how I feel, to show him how and what I am feeling, and he ignores me or goes and watches gay porn on his phone, so yeah this is one relationship going nowhere fast, currently in buckeye, AZ, thinking great what now lol. Anyone single and looking for more then friendship?
I am 62yr hispanic male i have been in so called relationships, have been abused mentally, physically, emotionally since a young age. We have a saying that converts to better to b alone then with bad company. Make a pro/con list then decide nobody wants to be alone. Ur bf sound selfish! Mak
Life can be pretty challenging and empty without any love and support. We all need love and sentimental support, and some to give love and take love in our lives.
I’m approaching to be 50 years old very soon. I have NEVER date or had a boyfriend in my whole life. I have discovered myself in social anxiety disorder with depression. It’s frustrating. I think it’s quite sad when I tried to reach to someone to talk to me but no one is listening so I’m beginning to loose the fight.
Well, I am willing to try and helpz one because I think, everyone deserves a chance at happiness, if it means I won’t at least I can be there to help some one elseelse this time, always seeking new friends, if you want to talkz I’m here, sorry bout my typoes, my phone is almost as irritating as the one who thinks he can control me and not know he can’t. So unbelievable and very tired.
I am 22 years old male. I have done so many wrong things in my life. I had a girlfriend, who I dated despite being gay. I am lying to my parents that I have had girlfriends and that I am attracted to woman. There is no justification for being a worthless liar. I grew up in a very homophobic country as well. If anyone finds out who I am, I might get beaten up. How I wish I could have a boyfriend and be in love with him for the rest of my life. Add to that I am a feminine man, inside and outside, for which I’ve been ridiculed a lot. At times I just feel like I am worthless human being. I am sorry if it makes you sad to read this.
Actually it makes my heart soar to know there might be someone for me after all, don’t feel too bad I married a women even though I am full blown gay and have been most of my life,
The human brain is complex. Depression is complex. The chemical imbalance theory is one of MANY “hypothesis” about the cause of mental illness. The chemical imbalance hypothesis has been over-promoted and continues to be advanced as “factual” by pharmaceutical companies that make billions. Go ahead and try prescription drugs if you have to, monitor them carefully, monitor unpleasant side effects, be aware of the “placebo effect,” wean yourself off very slowly if you decide to stop—or suffer horrendous withdrawal effects. Most importantly, always try and think critically. Knowledge prevents you from becoming a victim. If you’re depressed, there are many psychological and social causes that have a POWERFUL influence. I suffer from clinical depression, anxiety and panic disorder. Growing up impoverished, in a stressful parenting environment, an aggressive fearful father, conflicts and disputes with family members and friends, the anti-gay culture, being the youngest—having few assignments/few demands (denied learning responsibility and accountability), excessive drinking during and after college, being written up and terminated at my job, FAILED LIFE GOALS, poor life satisfaction, death of loved ones, poor attention skills… etc. etc. etc. These are all good reasons why you suffer from depression. And the cruelty is, humans are bent on removing every single excuse you may have for your shortcomings. The cruelty is groundless. A powerful solution to your clinical depression is ACCEPTANCE. Courageous and bold humans accept reality. Cowards live in denial. It’s a willingness to tolerate a difficult or unpleasant situation. The LGBT community has been harmed, tricked, injured, and killed. One of the greatest anti-depressants in the United States has been marriage equality. In fact, equality in general is a good anti-depressant.
Thank you for your insiteful article. I am an older man living in Southern California. My family on both sides were Canadian. I bet you are a wonderful cook
Chandler, I too think you would be a wonderful cook, and although singlez have a lot to offer the right guy, you give me hope, would love to get to know you….peter.
Life has not been easy for any who have written here. I can relate to each of you. The best advice I can offer is getting involved with Social Groups or Volunteer Groups. I was in love with my teenage sweetheart. Life was full of joy as a teenager. She was killed. Happiness ended suddenly. The hurt and inner feelings led me to experiment with another part of me. At 21 I decided not to date another woman to be fair to myself and the other person. Since, I have fought all the same demons that gay men face. No lasting relationships, No children at my dinner table, Lost many friends to AIDS. It was a struggle being gay for me, through my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and now at 59. Currently seeking help and told to join groups. ( Have attended ) But, still so lonely. In the back of my mind their has always been hope. Then the body started giving out. Heart issues, Lung, all the joints, daily chronic pain. Not able to do any activities that defined me. After 40 years, I’m put out of work. I feel loss of purpose for living. We live to have a purpose in life. I started dating men again, and found what I’ve found for over 30 years. The freedoms Gays have attained has not changed the Gay culture. So, I gave up on dating. The depression of living a gay life is more than I can handle right now. My parents are gone, Friends are gone, My body is shot. Hope of finding someone is dim. But, I’d like to let you know you will find strength in helping each other. We must look to others who need to be lifted up. We must stick together ( Groups/Volunteering ) and be each others strength no matter our situations.
I live near Nashville, and am fortunate to be a member of a Christian church that celebrates all people and fully welcomes and includes LGBT members. We have so, sooo many members whose depression is rooted in familial rejection and fundamentalist dogma that paints gay people as uniquely sinful. A religion that’s supposed to be about love and inclusion is twisted into one that enforces hatred and exclusion. This church has a radically different interpretation of the Bible that has provided a foundation for healing. You can find the sermons online, and a Facebook community of like-minded people. http://gracepointe.net/
I just turned 64 and finding men who are so dull and depressing I just can’t relate to gaymen of my age bracket , I was thinking of suicide but I stop trying to think that way , so i’m writing this note to say I will get over this because this summer or fall try to get away and just walk along a beach to watch the golden sunset and next year take a cruise to somewhere next with day i’ll be 65 wow
I didn’t think i’ll make it but i’m going to put effort in doing
I’m sorry to hear you are struggling. I hope things will get better for you. In the meantime, in case you haven’t read it yet, might I suggest reading our page on what to do if feeling suicidal? It’s at http://queermentalhealth.org/suicide/
tell older guys make an effort reinvent yourself and try something new that my advice ,
paul rc goldstone-randall
While this is a helpful article, it seems to focus on the main premise of depression in gay males is due to our reactions how other people view us or not accepting us. That is not entirely accurate. Many gay males experience this depression due to the fact that they just don’t want to be gay.
I am in an engagement, I am gay but I feel as though my partner just doesn’t get it, he says he loves me, but he fails to show it day in and out, we have been together since 2012, and I feel depressed every single day, and I know there are better ppl out there for me but I need someone gay who understands what where I am coming from, Sam you sound nice and I would like to get to know you if you don’t mind. Msg me somehow, and Chandler, I am from beautiful Canada, and I miss that too.
It’s better to have known love than be too afraid to try. I’m a 33 year old and have never done more than kiss a man.
I just too sometimes feel so vulnerable. So easy to fall in love and can’t get the reciprocation i want…although I don’t expect it..but it hurts more that I can’t even expect to be loved back just bcz of different gender identity… Sometimes I feel so lonely…and need someone to pour my heart out..but being surrounded by homophobia.. You can’t trust anyone at all
Yes I have felt depression off and on for my entire life. As Anubis points out above, like many gay men, I just don’t want to be gay. It does not really matter why I don’t want to be this way, but I just don’t. It is not what other people say, it is something deeply ingrained in me (internalized homophobia). Undoubtedly it has sabotaged my relationships in the past and has negatively affected all aspects of my life.
That being said, there is no choice but to be gay. (You can’t make sugar out of salt). I have been in counselling, groups and volunteering activities to take my mind off of all this. At the end you are left alone with your thoughts. For the single, older gay male, life is tough. There is no way around it. But as long as there is breath in me, there is not giving up.
Hey man, you are not alone.. I am a gay immigrant muslim, and I hate being each and every one of them. I have graduated from beer to weed. I want to quit smoking, keep sober but get high every once in a while, because I know if I relapse, the booze will kill me. I am such an asshole that I want a marry and become a father like a straight person. I will live like this and try not to destroy whatever left from my family and friends, and be ashamed of myself until the day I die.